Charges are pending against two women from West Kelowna, B.C., after the seizure of potentially lethal drugs known as 'bath salts' mailed from China.

A joint RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency team showcased 16 kilograms of the dangerous synthetic drug during a press conference in Kelowna Thursday morning.

"Between August 23 and 26, 2013, CBSA intercepted three suspicious packages weighing a total of approximately 16 kilograms at the International Mail Centre in Vancouver, B.C. The packages, originating from China, were destined to a company in West Kelowna," the RCMP's Serious and Organized Crime unit said in a press release.

Bath salts seizure

RCMP and CBSA seized three packages totalling 16 kg in weight that were found to contain methylone, a relatively new synthetic drug known on the street as 'bath salts.' (RCMP)

Heather Ardiel, chief of the Vancouver mail centre, said the parcels were labelled as table salt, but laboratory testing confirmed the packages did indeed contain methylone, a drug more commonly known as 'bath salts.'

She said the suspicious substances were in plastic bags wrapped in tin foil.

According to police, the drug can be snorted, smoked or liquefied and then injected and is highly addictive. Users experience an elevated heart rate and chest pains and a host of psychiatric symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, and psychotic behaviour.

Police arrested two West Kelowna women in connection with the seizure on Sept. 19, but no charges have been laid and both women have been released.

According to the RCMP, the 'bath salts' drug started showing up in Eastern Canada in 2011.

With files from the CBC's Brady Strachan and The Canadian Press